Sunday, November 29, 2015

more drawer pulls: "give it a yank, hank"

Ralph from the Accidental Woodworker web log, plus my buddy Tom Waits in Niwot, CO both liked the curved pull from my last post which is valuable feedback, thank you. Tom also suggested trying to size these things a bit smaller and see how that fits ("20-30 percent. A jockey full of bourbon ought to still be able to find it...").

well i got fairly big mitts, so i'm given to larger grab bars and handles and usually the XL gloves in the hardware store. Still there's always room to try that out, even if the turkey needs immediate internal temperature reading and your thermometer is buried deep inside drawer number 2. what size handle does that mean?

Here are 3 tries: 3" 3,1/2" and 4" long.

It is surprising how different it is to hold on to one from the other. The smallest one might be just fine. I've attached these and others to various cupboards and drawers in the kitchen to see how they feel for us over the next few weeks.

The bigger one might be most appropriate for something like a pantry or laundry door. Too big for smaller drawers.

I also think how these things are finished will affect the feel a lot. I've just got 'em sanded to 120grit. but imagine if they had a lot of poly on them. Then there's the other idea of using a hard wood like maple, or mesquite. Also, have to consider painting these, which could be really cool little dollups of color on a natural wood panel finish...

Also tried afew of the blockier style as well, in various positions and pairs in cupboards and drawers.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

afternooner project: couple neo-schwarz saw benches from scraps

2 4' long 4x6 rough-cut pine timbers, plus several odd lengths of 2x4 pine were used to protect the outside of my hammer a3-31 planer/thicknesser on arrival months ago. i pulled the nails and random fasteners from these sticks and set them aside thinking this wood might be useful some day.
So with an afternoon spinning wheels, i decided to practice surface prepping these boards on teh planer, then busting out a few saw benches, ala I actually used two of his blog entries in this project which has to be a record for me. Went with the $5.87 design he posted here

I also used a technique to help scribe the bottom to the floor by turning the benches over and using a reference off a flat surface to define the height. Here it is

These came out to be about 18,1/2" high which is also a good shop stool height. bonus. Honestly i'm not sure how much hand sawing I plan on doing with these benches but they are going to be really handy while staging boards during various stages of their milling process. also a good height to post something like a cabinet when I need to apply finish, or hardware etc. Today I used them to brake down a pallet languishing next to our house using both a circ saw, and a pull saw. these were a perfect height for this sort of adventure.

in total, a productive way to spend a few spare hourse in an afternoon.

Friday, November 27, 2015

more drawer pulls

I ran the earlier designs from couple days ago by sarah, she liked and also suggested trying one that is symmetrical about the long axis. Good idea, especially if you want to arrange these things in a horizontal or vertical orientation along that long axis. here are a couple more tries, using the same basic radius cutting assy. for the band saw.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

making several dozen drawer pulls

With a kitchen and bathroom remodel, plus some other built-in work for the house, I wanted to come up with a drawer pull that I could make in batches with some help from my machines. at the same time, i wanted a pull that would not look too machine-made with right angles and square ends. I wanted it to be curved and be nice to reach for and easy to use. Drawer pulls are extremely difficult for me for some reason. Most of my attempts in the past have felt clunky, looked awkward. Hands are complicated, picky things!

Here's my latest attempt. These are PROTOTYPES made from 1x1" fir, 4" wide. I still need to figure out how to do the pilot holes and might have to make a separate jig to hold them in place:

This is based on a plan I did earlier this year for shop cabinet pulls, all done on a table saw and finished up with a few quick passes of sandpaper and then water-poly

I wanted to machine an overhanging lip because this felt really comfortable on the fingertips when met with my thumb. really easy to pull this without feeling awkward.'s very blocky for in the house, so off i went looking into machining wood using screaming router bits and holders. but that translates into lots of adrenaline and frightened shop cats.

I then recalled some youtube videos of folks making very nice circle cutting jigs using their band saws and the a-ha moment occurred. Why not try jigging up using the bandsaw as my cutting tool?

TO date, this has been the most complex jig i've done up, and it was very ad-hoc. what you see here is a 1/2" ply base, clamped to the bandsaw table, and a sled that rides on top, with a 3/8" oak dowel pivot point set back at 9". I have two stop blocks for the sled that go between the base, and the fence of the saw. Take one swipe with block #1, and then switch in block #2 and take another pass. this leaves the plan view curve with overhang. I will then rip the interior piece about 1/4" thinner than the overhang, and then glue the pieces back together.

You can see the other ones resting on the side to the left. I actually took this pic after the first cuts were made so that you can see how they would fit together after being glued up. not sure if this makes any sense.

antother thing in this pic is a little piece of wood with some 80 grit paper glued to it. very important! this is what i use to hold the piece down to the jig while i make the pass. it holds really well and i felt in total control when performing this operation.

I also wanted to do a second pass on the pieces once their glue had dried to have a gentle radius along the elevation view. I used a larger radius here on the saw, also i shimmed the place where the pieces sat so that there was a gentle outward taper.
Here, i'm trying them out on the old cabinets on our kitchen. no better way to test them out than to have them in place for us to get a feel for 'em, right?

I tried two pulls on the drawer, too. Since i'll be using mechanical slides for the new cabinets, i dont think it's necessary to have two pulls, and looks a bit cluttered actually.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Emmert Pattern Maker Vice Repair & Install

Well, vice trim handle has been repaired, and here it sits parked on my bench ready to receive a leather lining I suppose. This is a fantastic vice. I tried just holding a small piece of wood and the jaws clamped sure and strong, no racking. Smelled of gorgeous old cast iron, perfumed with WD-40 and a bit of tarting up the threads with some synthetic grease

I think I need to make a new handle for this guy, something that I'd cut from a stick of fir.

Good times!

I'd like to start this with an opening email from Richard Dittenberger, a colleague of my dad's that goes far back, college? Highschool? On offer was an original Emmert's Patternmaker's vice, but this one with some particularly interesting history. Richard's grandfather worked from a very early age as a patternmaker, and had a long term working relationship with Jim Kirby, the fellow who takes credit for inventing the modern clothes washing machine. Richard's grandpa helped make that spiral thingie that agitates your clothes in the washing machine. How cool is that!??

Hello Adam, The acid test of good Mexican food is a good chili relleno. The acid test of a good woodworker is if he or she knows what an Emmert patternmaker vise is. Needless to say, you passed! I have here in Arlington a very early model of an Emmert vise, 5 inch high jaws mfg Apr 11, 1905, Pat Aug 1911. It is entirely different from the later model which is shown on the internet and in the installation instructions in the link below (PDF). It came out in 1919 which is the model that is in my mother's house mounted to a huge bench in the basement. It has six inch jaws.

My paternal grandfather Joseph Dietenberger was 16 years of age in 1900 and apprenticing as a patternmaker in shops in Cleveland. Many people brought drawings into these shops, mostly inventors, to have wood patterns made for later metal casting.

One particular inventor by the name of James Kirby brought many drawings to a shop where my grandfather worked. To make a short story long, Jim Kirby always asked that Joseph do the work. Jim later hired Joseph to work for him directly about 1910. Just the two of them worked together for over 30 years. They developed the single tub washing machine in 1912 and went on to the twin tub machine.

My grandfather made all the patterns for those washing machines and later for all of the vacuum cleaners made by Scott & Fetzer which is still in business today. The Kirby cleaner was sold throughout the world. They set up shop in Cleveland in 1910 and Kirby bought all the machinery including the vise I have. They later had two shops and thus the larger vise was purchased after WWI. Both of these vises are original pieces made by R Mfg Co, Nesboro P(A) USA. I have seen a price of about $1200. for an original 6 inch. Knockoffs today go for $300. on Amazon/Ebay.

Nothing would please me more than for you to have that 6 inch vise in CLE. If you have not purchased a vise yet and would like that vise, I will remove it from the bench (because I prefer not to sell it with the house) and ship it to you via UPS. There is a large UPS trucking depot very near and I would take it there, have them pack it and ship it to you. I will pay all shipping costs. This is my gift to you. Alls you gotta do is be home. This can happen in Sept when I go back for my 2 week CLE suffering. I told your mother that the best view of Cleveland is in a rear view mirror. She told Cleveland is just like Detroit except without the frills! Let me know if you would like that vise and I'll put your name on it!

With that said, I left off with looking for a way to repair the bevel adjustment cam handle that had broken off in transit from Ohio.

I ran this past my pal, Dan who's a skilled welder, and woodworker in his own shop 5 minutes north of my garage. This fellow has some kit in his shop. Austrian Table Saws with sliding beds and such. Dan means Business.

He recommended we try welding. We had to be careful to raise the temperature of the cast iron to 350F beforehand, then we fussed about getting the pieces to stay put while he applied some 308 Stainless welding rod. It took some time to get back to handleable temps, but much rejoicing was had since the welds held, and there were no fissures along the toe of the weld. Dan tapped this thing with a ballpeen hammer a bit to help relieve stress while it cooled. He also assumed the character of some fellow barking incoherent statements to nobody in particular when he had the welding kit going. I think this is the prerogative of the welding savants, right? I'd be saying all sort of gibberish if i were melting metal right in front of me...

Welds look goood from here. Thank you Dan!!!
Richard made this installation much much easier with his drawings taken from the previous installation of the vice. (he was an engineer at Boeing Aerospace back in the day). Thanks for taking the time to do this up, RIchard, it made the install a lot simpler!
With the drawings, I was able to lay out the recesses for the vice. I chose to mortise the attachment flange both on the top (about 1/16 shy of flush with the top) and about 7/16 on the side. the hard part was beavering out the material on a 5,1/2" thick bench top for the screwshaft, and the hub that this vice spins on. However, I have a plungecut circular saw that helped much. From there it was just a bit of hammering with my 16MM japanese chisel.
pulling the old twinscrew vice. i never used even half the clamp capacity on this thing...
With the top flange routed out, I had to turn the bench over to work on the underside. This approach to tipping a 400 pound bench with control involves clamping a 2x4 to the top and bottom, and you have a nice lever. Worked well for me!
I removed the captive nut holders for the twin skrew vice from the underside. I'm sure this thing could be useful some day, just not sure when,what,why.
Here's what the underside looks like after first trial fit. I had to increase the width of the skrew-shaft housing as I did not consider sqrt(2)*l which needs to be accommodated when it spins on the hub! Doh!

I also forgot to show any pics of the bench lying supine while I cut out the channels for the screw housing. Nothing special to see there.

Much fussing about with the fitment ensues. The underside perch for the connecting rod clamp took a bit of evolving to get to the right spot. I ended up routing out a bit more of the bench's underbelly, and adding a few washers to the receiving end to get the thing mostly in line. Seems to be OK from here.
This is the Emmert Pattern Maker Vice Salute Position. Yeah, gimme your odd shaped stick of wood, I'll grab it for ya!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

curved trundle bed surround v, installed

OK, here the piece rests, scribed into the surrounding wall, and screwed into base from the bottome via pocket holes I drilled a long time ago. I've dreamed of this day for a while as this is a perfect crash-pad for napping after a long ride or run. With prep for Oakland's Marathon up in March, It's nice to have this thing done when I begin the longer runs starting in December.

The walls are a deep red color and it makes for a pretty dark room. This might seem too dark and dreary, however the rest of the house is so brightly lit, that it's nice to have a room that is a foil to that. It's quiet, and also stays cooler during the summer months.

Here's how the trundle is deployed, using pulleys rigged on the interior of the base. I still need to make a handle for the cord. The trundle rides on six 1" non-swivel casters.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

curved trundle bed surround iv

The assembly is completed as best as i can get it in the garage. Next step is to lug 'er into the house, scribe to the walls, and skrew it in.

I tried a different finishing schedule for me. Sand to 180, then a few coats of Minwax oil polyurethane that was thinned 3 parts poly, 1 part mineral spirits so that I could use a rag to wipe it on thinly. before final coat of poly, I skuff sanded with 400grit. After final coat, I used 0000 steel wool,and then a coat of paste wax. I wanted a finish that was somewhat durable, but still left the wood feeling like wood. It's a bit shinier than I like, you still very much feel the wood when you touch it. expecially the panels where you have the harder winter rings a bit proud of the summer growth.

Here, I'm building up a few more pieces of redwood to strengthen the crotch, and infill the area where there will be more relief carving
I scribed in some masking tape off of the panels so that I knew where to cut with a handsaw to bust off the larger chunks of the crotch
The Auriou rasp is a joy to use
The frame now finish sanded
Wanted to show off the gappy teeth here, especially the wider edge, where a panicked hammer blow softened the edge a bit. This however is in better shape now if you can imagine than before applying a steam iron to the bruised wood to plump it back into place. Poor joints.
Here's my application tool, a waded up rag made from cotton duck of a worn out pair of carhart jeans. I love this cloth for applying finish as you can kind of burnish the wood it seems.
So once everything is finished, I just skrewed the panels into the frame like so. Notice I also beavered out a fair bit of wood along the interior edges to make scribing into the walls a little less horrible.